Perkins Presents Research to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Perkins Presents Research to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Wesley Perkins, professor of sociology, was invited to give a presentation to officials of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 20. He presented research in collaboration with Jeff Linkenbach of Montana State University using the social norms approach in statewide experiments in Montana conducted to promote traffic safety between 2000 and 2003. The research demonstrated significantly increased use of seat belts in a study of adults of all ages when media messages about seat belt use being normative were introduced to reduce misperceptions throughout the state. A separate experiment focusing on 21 to 34 year old adults demonstrated reductions in drinking and driving and increases in the use of designated drivers when data based messages about normative behavior regarding drinking and driving were promoted in experimental counties compared to control counties.